Former NBA Star Mutombo Asks Business Leaders to Find a Passion

The former Hawk and Rocket spoke near Sandy Springs at Greater North Fulton Chamber's Eggs & Enterprise Breakfast in his role as NBA global ambassador.


Former Atlanta Hawk and Houston Rocket Dikembe Mutombo told business leaders at the Eggs and Enterprise Breakfast that, "The world really needs us."

Mutombo, who was named a global ambassador for the NBA in 2009, uses that position to help people around the world, but particularly in Africa and his homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He spoke at on Wednesday in the chamber's breakfast series, which will go on hiatus in July but returns in August with Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy.

Mutombo graduated from Georgetown University and played basketball in the NBA for 18 years. He enjoyed the crowds and cheering fans, but "the inspiration of my life had always been the improvement of living conditions of my people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Playing basketball in America gave the opportunity to give back to his homeland. That allowed him to get a hospital built in his hometown, which opened in December 2007.

"Today we have treated more than 125,000 people," Mutombo said.

The hospital cost more than $40 million, and he donated $24 million to it.

He's been to the scenes of tsunami and earth quake devastation on opposite sides of the globe, refugee camps with a half million people in one square mile with no food and other scenes of tragedy in his role as global ambassador. Scholarships have helped some of the children, but more needs to be done.

He said when you wake up in the morning, you should try to look after your wife, children, nieces and nephews. But we have to understand that outside of our boundaries, our family and our homes, "there are also people who need our help."

"For some of us who are Christians like myself, as you read the Bible, ... it is up to myself to ask what am I doing, what is my legacy. Whose child did you touch?" Mutombo said. "Make sure that you make a difference."

His dad worked as a teacher for 37 years, making $30 a month, but he inspired his children by giving back.

"Make a life for yourself and children. Find a way and a passion in your heart to go and give a life to someone," he said.


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